Home Inspections, the Nitty Gritty
It is best for a home inspection to be completed by a professional consulting service that can determine the present condition of the home’s major systems, based on a visual inspection of accessible features. It focuses on the performance of the house, rather than cosmetic, code or design issues. Inspections are often necessary during a real estate transaction, but you can have one completed at any time.
Home Inspections are an evaluation of the exterior and interior of your home with a professional opinion of the performance of systems on the date inspected.
Mostly a visual examination, the inspector may also take photos to document their findings.
Home Inspections are intended to recognize components that are significantly deficient, unsafe or near the end of their life. Think plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roof and the actual structure of the house.
The inspector will then complete a report of their findings with detailed descriptions of issues found, condition, and performance and if the inspector took photos, those would be in the report as well.
What You May Find on a South Carolina Home Inspection
Inspection elements can differ from state to state, and the Standard Practice for Home Inspections from the American Society of Home Inspectors is a lengthy one. So here are a few of the main parts of every South Carolina home inspection.
- Lot- Your home inspection summary includes an overview of the lot on which the home was built. The inspector will look for soggy areas in the yard and see if drainage flows away from the house.
- Structural Components-In addition to the exterior components of a home, an inspector will look at the sturdiness of the foundation and framing of the structure.
- Roof-When inspectors are assessing the condition of the roof they examine shingles, flashing, and skylights and note the weak spots, loose shingles, and signs of aging and decay. They will include a note regarding the overall condition and age of the roof.
- Exterior-Before heading inside, an inspector will check out the rest of a home’s exterior. This includes siding, soffit, porches, balconies, walkways, railings and driveways. If anything needs repairs or repainting, it is in the inspection report.
- Interior and Attic-An inspection will detail the inside of the home including the condition of walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, stairs and railings. Inspectors will also examine the construction of the roof and look for signs of leaks in the attic.
- Electrical – The electrical system of a home is part of the inspection as well. An inspector will check to see how the electric panel looks and that the outlets are grounded. They will also test switches and note any malfunctions.
- Plumbing- The inspector will evaluate all components of the plumbing system, including pipes, drains, water heaters, sump pumps, and sewer lines.
- Appliances-If appliances like the stove, dishwasher or refrigerator come with the home, they will be tested to make sure they function properly.
- Heating and Cooling Systems -Heating and cooling systems in the house are also checked to ensure they are in proper working order. Information regarding features of a furnace or fireplace will be in the report as well.
You may be thinking “gee, that sounds great for a new home purchase, but do I need a home inspection if I have been in my home for years?”
Obvious guy says yes, you absolutely need a home inspection. Whether it’s a new purchase or you have lived in your home for a long time, a home inspection can save you significant heartache and dollars down the road. A home inspection can help find minor problems before they turn into major ones. Also, your insurance company may perform their own inspection. If your home isn’t up to par, they may drop your coverage.
Home Inspections and Insurance Companies
Did you know that some insurance companies will do a home inspection when you purchase a policy from them? While the criteria varies on which they perform them, many companies use them as part of the underwriting process. When an insurance company performs an inspection they are looking to make sure that the home is in good condition. They will also check operating systems, to ensure they are functioning correctly and up to code.
If you are interested in a home inspection or have questions about how one could affect your insurance, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to helping in any way we can.